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tv   Beyond 100 Days  BBC News  April 15, 2019 7:00pm-8:01pm BST

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more in the story on bbc news. to stay with us. —— do stay with us. you're watching beyond 100 days. matthew prices in london. i am in washington. we are going straight to paris where a major fire breaks out at the notre—dame cathedral in paris. a major operation is now under way to try and contain the blaze. 850 yea rs old 850 years old that took 200 years to build. this fire as far as we have known has been bred for the last couple of hours. density damage has been caused to one of the most famous monuments in the world. 13 million people visit notre—dame every year, many of you will have seen it and these are the scenes right now matthew that we are seeing from paris. absolutely katty. it was
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only minutes before he went on air that we were watching the wife footage and then we heard from our correspondent on the ground that the spire of the notre—dame cathedral, thatis spire of the notre—dame cathedral, that is an earlier shot that shows you that spire on fire and ever correspondent about ten minutes or so correspondent about ten minutes or so ago told us that the spire itself had come down. we also had that confirmed from another guest that we hope to speak to in the programme in the coming minutes for bond —— coming minutes. agnes poirier can join us now from paris and agnes the scenes you're witnessing at the moment. if i lift scenes you're witnessing at the moment. ifi lift my scenes you're witnessing at the moment. if i lift my eyes i can see a lot of fire and a lot of smoke, clearly smoke in the skies. and a lot of people have gathered and there are a lot of police and firemen. they have tried with very
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high praise to use the water. the fire is very high building. there 0r it is devastating. yes, i saw the spire collapse. you have to realise that there are a lot of scaffolding! —— scaffolding that there are a lot of scaffolding! — — scaffolding is. that there are a lot of scaffolding! —— scaffolding is. and perhaps something that happened at work because all the back of notre—dame is only surrounded by scaffolding from bottom to high. building renovation work had been going on? absolutely. this started a month ago. and they were going to be very nice works. for the moment it is
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just stupor having looked exactly at the works and i see them all the time and presumably the neighbours in the vicinity, it's the works that have just launched. the stained glass has melted and are not there. and the fire is spreading near the towers la st and the fire is spreading near the towers last time i worked. it is just splitting and i'm sure you can see on your screen. just splitting and i'm sure you can see 011 your screen. agnes just splitting and i'm sure you can see on your screen. agnes this is awful. we're hearing the spire has gone. you are describing the famous stained glass windows of notre—dame have gone, the roof has gone, our correspondent hugh schofield is there at the scene. what are you seeing and hearing from people there? for the last hour or so i
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have been on the south side of the building which is really distressing seen building which is really distressing seen the graphic view of the destruction, i am coming back now... we saw the spire falling, the dramatic crash about an hour ago and we are seeing the skeleton of the roof collapsed one by one into the interior of the building. stillthis orange conflagration leaping up into the sky in the middle of what was the sky in the middle of what was the roof. the roof is complete gone. i cannot see the roof, there is nothing that i could see elevated... a lot of that debris would have falle n a lot of that debris would have fallen burning into the interior of the building. a lot of the effort is to prevent anything awesome going. q, are you near enough to see any signs of firefighters, water being sprayed onto, any kind of... access is extremely difficult because the
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south side of the cathedral is boarded on the river and it's impossible to get into. there is no road access except on the other side of the river. and the spray that was fired by the water cans from there was not effective. neither a cannon firing water from just in front of the cathedral. i moving... it is reaching the flames. it's pretty ineffective as well. the roof is quite clearly gone. they're trying to make sure there is no damage done to make sure there is no damage done to the interior and that to other parts, i think the whole roof is gone but i cannot see the far eastern and subway here, we have to let you go. hugh you need to go for submenu to go file for the radio and bbc as well. we have john sobel here he was a paris correspondent for a
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long time. president macron is due to be speaking right now. we had a whole programme went up that we were going to be doing about french politics. now if course this mess fire has overtaken that. the scenes arejust fire has overtaken that. the scenes are just heartbreaking, anyone who has visited. .. it are just heartbreaking, anyone who has visited... it is just awful. are just heartbreaking, anyone who has visited... it is just awfullj was trying to think are there any more famous monuments in france? well the eiffel tower would be there with it. in terms of churches around the world, i think this is as famous as any. st. peter's square in rome, the one in barcelona, st. paul pensee cathedral in london. but this isa pensee cathedral in london. but this is a place with 30 million people go every year. 30,000 visitors every scene with having lived in paris for four years, it is one of the places that you have to go to for some it is absently magnificent just that you have to go to for some it is absently magnificentjust across the river it is just stunning. and
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it is just kind of hard to find the words and i've just seen a bit of video of the actual spire collapsing. i am sure people are aghast and as i understand, emmanuel macron is now on his way. the thing that struck me about what hugh schofield was saying is that yes it is very inaccessible to conventional fire engines to get there. you would have thought that there was a plan in place for the most, the crown jewels of france, of how you were going to protect those buildings should a fire break out. john, break out full —— stay with us. matthew. emmanuel macron was going to be speaking as any. agnes is with us right now. you can see the cathedral from your window. ijust wonder, john was giving us the global
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thoughts on notre—dame there. from a paris since perspective, from that from parisian persuader, a french person pots our perspective, isjust horrible? you can't see me cry. it's interesting because when in paris at kilometre zero, the heart of paris, if you google, it is notre—dame, the heart. we know that the urgency of notre—dame in the world, we know that so many people go to notre—dame because it is asjohn doe ten macro set. —— it is asjohn said. it is notjust that, it is paris, victor hugo. who hasn't read esmeralda? and
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it is... the chimes of notre—dame that we heard yesterday. it week before easter holiday and the importance of the bells, and indeed the tone of the bells of notre—dame, they are 350 years old. they are taking history, we're talking the middle ages. the spire is not that ancient, i middle ages. the spire is not that ancient, lam middle ages. the spire is not that ancient, i am not sure middle ages. the spire is not that ancient, lam not sure but it middle ages. the spire is not that ancient, i am not sure but it was built in the 19th century. it was sort of rehabilitated then. but otherwise you can see from so far away when you are here and you can
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imagine at the time hundreds and hundreds of years ago that it was the building at the time. dozens of miles away you could see it. it's a terrible site. agnes while you're talking there, president emmanuel macron put out on social media "said to see this part of all of us burn —— sad to see this part of all of us burn". it is a part of us from around the world for some everyone wanted to see it at least once in their lives. and i'm sure every day when i see notre—dame, i hello to it. agnes, thank you. i know that you have to go but our condolences to you who have spent years in your
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apartment overlooking this extraordinary building as you say it is really the heart of paris. thank you forjoining us, we would try to get more voices during the course of this programme for people who were there. john is still with us. the president of france tweeting out the cathedral of notre—dame of paris is engulfed in flames, the emotion of a whole nation. 0ur engulfed in flames, the emotion of a whole nation. our thoughts for all the catholics and for all french, i would like all over compatriots, i have said this evening to see a part of us that is burning and it really does look like it is burning. the roof has gone, the spire has gone. we can see the firefighters there on the balcony. they have to get up very high because this started up in the roof where the scaffolding in the roof where the scaffolding in the restoration work was taking place. there had been a big restoration fund of launched, an appeal to restore notre—dame because it has suffered structural damage and is crumbling. and this where it has got to stop him but look at the fire. the intensity of which is
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burning. it's like a bunsen burner from her school laboratory is turned up from her school laboratory is turned up infull from her school laboratory is turned up in full in a cathedral that is engulfing everything around it. —— from your school laboratory. that is onafire from your school laboratory. that is on a fire that is uncontrolled, that is burning at absolutely full force and sucking in all the oxygen to keep that fire going. it is going to be the most, you know, you see the pompeii and you see them and salute them sanding them on the side of the building when there any potent —— formal position themselves. but it looks they are powerless to do very much at this age. and you wonder if there is a plan in place now to kind of preserve as much of it as possible because it is already been as you said devastating. 850 years of history, a lot of it has gone up in the space of an hour when you and i were sitting rethinking... we
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could not believe it, it wasjust i were sitting rethinking... we could not believe it, it was just an hour ago. i lived could not believe it, it was just an hourago. i lived in could not believe it, it was just an hour ago. i lived in paris forfour yea rs hour ago. i lived in paris forfour years and used to go to notre—dame often. it occurs to me that we are seeing the outside and i dread to think what's happening inside because agnes earlier saying that it looked like the windows were gone, the spire was gone, the roof is gone. he remarried there are a lot of artifacts and art inside the cathedral as well. watts of wood inside the cathedral. the beams inside the cathedral. the beams inside the cathedral. the beams inside the cathedral, travellers work inside the cathedral, all of that presumably work —— vulnerable at the moment stopping the one book i read was called ——... at the moment stopping the one book i read was called --. .. one at the moment stopping the one book i read was called --... one booki read when i was living in paris was "is paris burning?" and a nazi general who was in charge of paris was order to set fire to paris when the germans realised they were losing a 19114 and this general chose
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to ignore the orders from berlin and did not get the order to set fire. but traps had been laid at notre—dame and other places. incendiary devices to burn the place to the ground. it survived six years of the second world war and here we are in 2019 with all the technology and our internet connectivity and yet, seemingly powerless to stop a blaze at one of the world's most famous landmarks. a couple of the questions you were raising their that the deputy mayor of paris has been speaking on tv his reports being quoted by some of the news agencies. he said that the spire collapse inwards into the rest of the cathedral and he also quoted and this is to perhaps your point there that their work is —— the workers are scram a right now to save all the artworks that can be saved. i
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also had a work while you guys were speaking. in terms of what we have not heard about the possibility that any of the tourists who might have been inside the cathedral were inside it at the time. the fire as we understand it broke out an hour and a half ago, roughly the time the cathedral itself was closing. it is open until 7:45pm in the evening according to its website. you would assume that most people would've been shepherded out by then. the cathedral itself was being close. but obviously the battle from what the deputy mayor of paris is quoted as saying is that right now inside that cathedral, there are firefighters presumably trying to save as many of the artworks and artifacts as they can. was go to john who is in paris and john, you have written is the fire in your
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perhaps singing at the moment, what can you tell us? we were just visiting notre—dame and the gardens with the children and we decided to go and get some food. we walked back up go and get some food. we walked back up the hill and go and get some food. we walked back up the hilland my go and get some food. we walked back up the hill and my wife noticed smoke coming out the top of that. we stood and watched it and gradually the smoke became goes a smoke and then we saw flames coming out the building and then really within a half an hour, the whole building was glowing and you can see this huge bonfire inside of it. it progressed really quickly and hundreds and hundreds of people are in the square lining up to see it and there were people crying, it's horrible to watch actually. are you still close? know, the kids were upset so we went back to our apartment. we have just been here in the week and for a few days. so we just left. been here in the week and for a few days. so wejust left. for been here in the week and for a few days. so we just left. for what it sounds like, fairly from the start and people work beginning together on the street to look at it. there
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we re on the street to look at it. there were only a few people at first. no one noticed, we only saw the smoke. we knew the building worse but we would did not know if it was related to the building worse. —— building works. and if you go into the square, it's become for and forward just before the spire collapse and now it is full. were you inside the cathedral during your stay? no, we got there too late. we were hanging out in the gardens and the kids were playing underneath the blossom trees. we do not get a chance going today but there were a lot of people there that tried. we echo that as welljohn. katty here, in paris, is eve ryo ne welljohn. katty here, in paris, is everyone calm? welljohn. katty here, in paris, is everyone calm ? are welljohn. katty here, in paris, is everyone calm? are they watching calmly, or their concerns as to what might be happening outside or has anyone been brought out of the building? we were quite far away for the building but there were loads
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and loads of ambulances and fire engines. we understand it is that everyone engines. we understand it is that everyone stood around in shock. not many people saying anything. the french people were crying inside. the kids were upset and mostly it was people with hands and their mounts and everybody with their cameras out taking photos and videos and it is quite eerie. you can still see it where you are now? know we had to go away for so the kids are upset so we got back to the apartment, yeah. yeah, i understand for subjohn, apartment, yeah. yeah, i understand for sub john, thank you apartment, yeah. yeah, i understand for subjohn, thank you very much for subjohn, thank you very much for joining for subjohn, thank you very much forjoining us. john who is on holiday in paris and hope to be of deceit notre—dame. he got there too late. a quick recap, this is why pictures of the cathedral in paris will rethink the hour —— the fire broke out an hour ago. it appears to broke out an hour ago. it appears to broke out an hour ago. it appears to broke out on the roof as you can see there is scaffolding on the roof. there had been a bit right —— big restoration fund for the cathedral.
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fla mes restoration fund for the cathedral. flames quickly engulfed the roof. the spire of the cathedral which was ashley built a little later in the 19005, that ashley built a little later in the 1900s, that has collapsed into the building we understand. emmanuel macron, president of france who was due to be giving apical speech at the moment to the nation, he has cancelled that speech and is on his way from the veazey palace to visit it. 13 many people every year visit notre—dame, it must be the most —— one of the most visited monuments in the world. if you have ever had a chance go to paris unlikely that you missed it. 30,000 people every day. it isa missed it. 30,000 people every day. it is a gothic cathedral made famous because it used a whole new form of architecture with its flying buttresses and you can see in the images they are some of the buttresses that keep notre—dame standing. notre—dame the paris, our lady of paris right now up in flames, a devastating fire. lots of reaction from around the world, we have the paris prosecutors office who has said that they are starting
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an investigation. we can't say any more than that. we have no idea whether that is because they have suspicions about something or whether is just to do with something we heard early on in the fire that it was more likely to do with some of the restoration work. and if you have had restoration work done on your houses note how easily these fla mes your houses note how easily these flames can your houses note how easily these fla mes ca n start your houses note how easily these flames can start if there is a wedge ofa flames can start if there is a wedge of a way to work going on. the mayors office is saying they are working right now, we are seeing the life pictures from outside notre—dame. but the mayors office as they are working on trying to protect the treasures in the artwork thatis protect the treasures in the artwork that is inside notre—dame because of course it is notjust the outside thatis course it is notjust the outside that is famous but a lot of what is happening inside as well. president trump has tweeted about it in the last few minutes, the american vice president has also tweet about it when he out that it is a place of worship for catholics as well and a great loss to people of faith around the world. that is something that president macron pointed out for
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catholics and french. 0ur president macron pointed out for catholics and french. our thoughts are with you said the french president, matthew.|j are with you said the french president, matthew. i have a tweet from emmanuel macron which says that notre—dame is in flames, the emotion of the whole nation front for all catholics and french. and it says... in other words "i am sad tonight to see this part in all of us burn". and i think that is emmanuel macron trying to speak for a nation there at what must be the most extraordinary sense of collective shock and grief across the whole of france and around the world, the speed with which people have reacted to seeing it just speed with which people have reacted to seeing itjust seems so unthinkable. matthew, it is now 8:20pm in paris, the white is starting to go. you can see that and against that dusky sky, the big billow of smoke and flames still
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clearly visible from the cathedral roof. if i'm getting the angle right from this life shot. an hour and a half ago there was a spire in the middle of it. which is pretty remarkable to think about. as agnes was toeing us earlier, the spire does not date back to the original building. and yet still it was part of the whole iconic image of notre—dame cathedral. we were wondering, i was wondering earlier whether there had been any tourists, any visitors at the cathedral at the time that the fire broke out. we thinkjust about the time the cathedral was going to close for the day. the interior ministers office even in paris in france was saying so for that they we re france was saying so for that they were not aware of any injuries or any casualties from the fire which is good news but as we know and have been talking about, we believe inside the cathedral at the moment in the areas in which it is safe to go they are trying to rescue artwork
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and that is certainly happening half and that is certainly happening half an houror so and that is certainly happening half an hour or so ago. we can now speak to the former bbc correspondent david chazan who lives in paris. journal is working in the city. tell usa journal is working in the city. tell us a little but of what you're hearing and seeing. the authorities say that they're trying secure the structure parts of it as you are just saying matthew have already collapsed and they are worried about the rest of it. fire brigade had been trying to spray the flames with water from the ground but they have not been able to reach most of the flames so far. what we are seeing is the flames appear to have engulfed more and more of the cathedral and the damage must be quite extensive as you are saying. officials have been going into the cathedral trying to rescue the priceless works of art that it contains and the whole of
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the central paris which is an island in the river send where the notre—dame is located. —— in the river send. it is been close. residential commercial buildings and the surrounding area have all been evacuated. there have been crowds of people taking into the streets to safety just in case people taking into the streets to safetyjust in case the police should spread from notre—dame to other buildings because paris of course one of the densest series in europe, densest capital cities. a lot of buildings close together and this really is a very big blaze. we heard our calling hugh schofield who was relatively close to the cathedral little earlier and as he talked was, the police were certainly asking him to move back and countless dozens of other people who had gone to that area to have a
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look at the cathedral. is there any word on those artworks inside? we we re word on those artworks inside? we were talking to agnes earlier whose apartment overlooks the cathedral and she was talking about the stained—glass windows melting and clearly the concern for the arts and artifacts inside the cathedral. i'm sure that is a huge concern. we note that officials have been doing their best to get the paintings, the sculptures in the cathedral to safety. we haven't really had any word on how successful that effort has been and of course emmanuel macron, the french president, has gone to the scene, he has postponed a televised address to the nation which he had been due to make to start making about 25 minutes ago. so that has been postponed and mr mccrone has also tweeted his concern
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--... think you mccrone has also tweeted his concern --. .. think you very much for your time joining us --. .. think you very much for your timejoining us in --. .. think you very much for your time joining us in paris. you are watching... you are watching bbc news. we are bringing you special coverage of the fire in paris that has engulfed notre—dame cathedral. we have been hearing from eyewitnesses about the huge size of this place. the roof has already gone, the spire has already gone, the stained—glass windows have melted. we've heard from agnes poirier whose apartment overlooks. about of incredible emotion for the people of paris in a watching this horrified at which the speed of the blaze which is been on fire as far as we understand 1—2 hours and the speed with which this is devastated a building that took 200 years to build in the mid—13th
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century. and has been largely destroyed at least from the roof upwards. now we understand there is a big fight on to try to save at the can from the inside of the cathedral because there are a lot of artworks as david was just saying that a try to be rescued as wealth was up i understand that... we can now speak to freelance journalist christopher brennan who's at the scene. what are you seeing what have seen? i'm at the bridge about five and in metres to the west of notre—dame to the front of it. —— 500 metres. i can see there are water cannons coming from the south side of the building where they have been attacking the blaze from from my vantage point at a lot of smoke from the beginning. the smoke has shifted to the centre and is less now than it was maybe 15—20 minutes ago. but they are still actively battling that blaze and there is still smoke coming out. christopher, when did you get to the seen? i got to the
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scene i would say probably about 6:15pm, maybe 6:10pm. i started to see information and so to my knowledge that's when it started, the images i saw that it was already in full blaze. we can now see the water cannon there which is one water cannon there which is one water cannons that we can see there. the firefighters were on the balcony earlier near the fire incredibly briefly. they're trying to do what they can but... incredibly briefly they can but... incredibly briefly the firefighters. what is the reaction? the crowd is watching sheer horror and a lot of people are just looking at what is happening and they can see the destruction of the building which too many is the heart of the city. one man told me, heart of the city. one man told me, he lives not far from the cathedral and passes it every day, he said it is not really even just a religious monument even though of course it is
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pa rt monument even though of course it is part of the city and part of the cultural heritage of the city. and german chancellor while you have been speaking to us has been through her spokesperson putting out her thoughts that this is again, more thanjust a thoughts that this is again, more than just a religious thoughts that this is again, more thanjust a religious building. it's a symbol of france as she puts it and our european culture. her spokes person went on to say these are horrible images of notre—dame on fire painful to watch. i would imagine that around you, that pain is etched on the faces of people. we we re is etched on the faces of people. we were talking to someone from paris earlier, agnes poirier, who said she was on the verge of tears. it really is. you can see people. when i first started here, people were taking picture of it and were in all and shocked than anything else. but as this continues and you can see the damage of where there once was part ofa damage of where there once was part of a roof that should be there is no
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longer there. people can see the destruction with their own eyes and with tears in their eyes as well. christopher, thank you very much for joining us and stay safe there as those firefighters continue to try and battle those flames. anna kaminova who lives in paris. where are you what you seeing? i arrived 40 minutes ago and i'm now on next to the mary, and i went out of the metro and i saw this horrible scene. it was the beginning and there were a lot of people gathering andl there were a lot of people gathering and i think even in many more right now but the fire is coming down. i can see there is some water coming. and before, a helicopter around. but everybody was surprised why they we re everybody was surprised why they were not putting out the fire from the helicopter. why don't they have
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fire helicopters. which is something that president trump has also tweeted about. those can is trying to do theirjob. yes. if you live in france come and go to the south of france, you will regularly come the fore st france, you will regularly come the forest fire, i covered them, you would see the planes coming and going over the sea and mediterranean. scooping up water and thena mediterranean. scooping up water and then a flying very low over the area where they disperse the water to where they disperse the water to where they disperse the water to where the fire is. they don't have those tankers in paris. because they don't expect to be fighting that there is the even if you could get there is the even if you could get the planes loaded with water, to fly 600 miles north to get the paris before you would be able to unload the water, and i'd they are not equipped for that here. the thing
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that struck me, and which are alaska said, you would think that the fire department in paris have a plan of action for what would happen for fires and some of the most important structures. —— what you are alaska said. paris is the most beautiful city full of the most stunning buildings. yet it seems the slowness, we have onlyjust seen that water coming up onto the building in the last 15 minutes or so, it has been an hour and a half before we saw any kind of activity. from reuters news agency, witnesses are saying that the little island in the middle of the seine river which notre dame cathedral is on is in the process of now being evacuated. anna, you are a photographer and a designer. i imagine, you sound like you are perugia and, at least french, you have got many times past notre dame? —— parisienne. what are you feeling about when you see these
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pictures, heartbreaking? yes. it is horrifying. i am lucky that i have been there only two weeks ago for mass on sunday. it is terrifying and i spoke to my colleagues who are french and they are all very sad. they are saying that it is a real symbol appears that it is gone and the landscape of paris will never be the landscape of paris will never be the same again. and for the access to the island, they can see there is nobody leaving or entering right now. i can see the two bridges from here. there is no movement and we cannot enter the island. thank you for that update. also joined cannot enter the island. thank you for that update. alsojoined now cannot enter the island. thank you for that update. also joined now by philip kreidler, journalist with the french channel. french 24. what more are you hearing on the status of the building and operation to save what they can of the artworks inside of
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they can of the artworks inside of the building right now? from the pictures you are saying, just not much of an indication anything can be done. i think the consensus is that at least the wooden part of the cathedral will have to be sacrificed essentially. we look at those pictures, you see the study of towers above the cathedral, they might be, we don't know what this will like in the next two hours, they might be almost the only thing that will remain. they are sturdier and most likely to survive. not engulfed by flames. but this is a building which stemmed from the 12th century. not much of this is likely to survive. incredibly sad. i really don't think much can be salvaged at this point. i can tell you from my acquaintances in paris that they are saying this from a long way out and they are alljust incredibly sad. it is very rare, we covered a lot of
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tragic news of course, and 24 hour news, and this time around, only a building in flames, but there are messages passing from my friends to others and my friends to mine all about their immense sadness, sing this building engulfed in flames and nothing being able to be done about it. that real feeling of a lack of being able to do anything really to stop this. we are watching the cathedral go down in flames. that is the feeling i'm getting from those who are watching it right now on the ground. if i can who are watching it right now on the ground. ifi can interrupt, matthew, we had a tweet from the spokesman for notre dame. who says who is telling the french media the entire wooden interior of the 12th—century landmark is burning and likely to be destroyed. nothing will remain from the frame. that is what you are just suggesting there, philip. a matter
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of what it will look like now. maybe ina few of what it will look like now. maybe in a few days' time. it is a sad thing to contemplate, but considering what the spokesman for notre dame to say, in theory, we will likely be seeing those two towers that will remain. the towers we have all seen, even if we haven't might have been to paris come everybody knows the cathedral. i had visited it. i have been in those towers. it will maybe be the only really started things left standing. that's really sturdy. it is almost unthinkable the cathedral might be gone by the end of the evening. by the time paris wakes up. it might just be too towers and set up a whole cathedral. i wasjust going to say that. i almost don't know where to go from that. but you are absolutely right. looking at these pictures, piecing together what we are now learning from those who are
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closer to the cathedral then journalist and others are being allowed now, and actually, as we speak about looking through the website of the notre dame cathedral, isa website of the notre dame cathedral, is a whole list of artifacts in there, bells, paintings, statues, stained glass, everything. these are priceless works of art and artifacts. yes. whether they can rescue any of those, we still do not know. it is so rare, matthew and john, we have an event at the moment that brings people together. we cover a ll that brings people together. we cover all the time events that seem to divide us and everybody tonight looking at what is happening in paris and looking at the scenes of a monument we have all known, iconic for so many of us, whatever nationality, whatever our religion, whatever our languages, a sense of
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sadness. i would imagine an enormously high percentages of viewers are now had been been to paris at some point or another. it is the most breathtakingly beautiful city that you can visit. you just arrive in paris, there are vistas that still come even though i lived there 20 years ago, and have been back several times i go back every year, this is thatjust back several times i go back every year, this is that just take back several times i go back every year, this is thatjust take your away. it isn't achingly beautiful city and perhaps the most achingly beautiful monument and is bulimic notre dame. which isjust being gutted. before our eyes. and that is just a vital part of this a wonderful city of paris, which is self come if you define in paris and by the periphery and then the 20 districts within paris, it is quite
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a small city. you have the area in the suburbs, which make it a much huger city, paris is quite small. it's architecturally kind of quite uniform, this is the mid—evil magnificent part of the city, there are other bits. —— a mediaeval part. it isjust this place of utter beauty, and the city of light, it is not looking that fabulous of the leigh at the moment. david still with us. —— and that fabulous at the moment. downer the scene. with us. —— and that fabulous at the moment. downerthe scene. darkness is following it looks like from the images we are saying. 2:30pm here in washington but 8:48pm and it paris. -- 8:40 washington but 8:48pm and it paris. —— 8:40 p:m.. the skyline of paris changing tonight. that is right. the skyline dominated by that huge blaze
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engulfing one of your's most iconic buildings, one of the world's the most visited buildings, a lot of sadness and paris. —— you're a's was iconic. a part of the city in the nation cultural heritage just seems to be being destroyed before our very eyes. i should just correct use likely, i live fairly near notre dame. i likely, i live fairly near notre dame. lam likely, i live fairly near notre dame. i am spending the night in a paris suburb this evening. so i am not actually at the scene. i haven't been able to go there. i have spoken toa numberof been able to go there. i have spoken to a number of people on the phone who had told me how nearby buildings have been evacuated and how there has been some anger, some questions about the authorities response to the fire, which a lot of people wondering why they couldn't do more or why they couldn't get helicopters in and why the fire brigades
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response doesn't really seem to have been able to tackle the blaze before it spread so rapidly through this 850—year—old cathedral that is so dear to so many meridians. thank you. let's try and talk now tojohn ritchie, a journalist who i believe is relatively close to the cathedral. hello. yes. iwas close until two minutes ago. cathedral. hello. yes. iwas close untiltwo minutes ago. -- ten minutes. pain is the picture. untiltwo minutes ago. -- ten minutes. pain is the picturelj untiltwo minutes ago. -- ten minutes. pain is the picture. iwas crossing that macpaint st picture. i was on a bus and we saw smoke, going from between here to the belfry is and then down the river, as we drove down. because of the bus to see a fire, building extremely rapidly around the spire above the
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transition of the cathedral. as we watched, the entire spiral was engulfed in flames, sometimes completely hidden from view, by thick billowing yellow smoke. we saw secondary fire starting along the roof, towards the choir and east and in and spreading gradually among the roof above the transition. people weeping visibly in the streets, colossal claims, eventually from the spire was crumbled and probably fell through the roof into the roof but i can see what site it fell to. —— i cannot see. it fell into phases. then the fire spread along to the front of the cathedral. when you say gutted, the cathedral and the city andl gutted, the cathedral and the city and i think everyone watching could be described that way. everybody uniting with the motion and the
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tragedy of this destruction. absolutely. that description you gave of the spire, we are getting several parts into the newsroom a bit earlier that confirmed your worst fears, that the spire had indeed fallen into the body of the cathedral. presumably, you would have to assume therefore starting come if this was a fire that began on the roof, certainly, starting a greater inferno lower down in the cathedral of the cell. i wonder whether you are in in a position. we haven't had any reports of casualties. to the contrary, i wonder if you are in a position to see there were people in the cathedral of the time of the fire started ? cathedral of the time of the fire started? no. i was cathedral of the time of the fire started? no. iwas at cathedral of the time of the fire started? no. i was at a distance. the police very rapidly evacuated people from all around. i did not see any ambulance activity, simply a fire activity and police activity.
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there was a position i took a blade from the northern side. —— i took up from the northern side. —— i took up from the northern side. —— i took up from the northern side. i did see some firemen, when people talk about the capacity or inability to put out the capacity or inability to put out the fire, when you saw the volume of water compared with the inferno, i think it was very little chance of any colossal pieces of fire equipment having any effect on that raging blaze. thank you forjoining us, john. a few moments ago, our paris correspondent lucy williamson sent us this update. all along the banks of the sand stretching away from this cathedral, people are lighting the pavement here in paris staring up at the sky. at the plumes of smoke, billowing out of notre dame cathedral, visible across paris, the smell of the cathedral
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burning. it's only been going about an houror so but burning. it's only been going about an hour or so but already the flame seemed to have completely engulfed the roof wrapping themselves around the roof wrapping themselves around the terrorists at the back care. we are not quite sure yet what has caused this. —— around the terrace. some think it might be linked to renovation work being carried out here was that we are told president macron is now on his way here to address the firefighters. this cathedral has been damaged so many times and this history, it's been here almost 1000 years. but never anything like this. lucy williamson, our correspondent in paris as we bring you a special programme which is focusing entirely on what is obvious here come a catastrophic fire at one of the worlds most iconic, most famous, most visited buildings among the notre dame cathedral in the heart of paris. which has been on a fire now for at
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least two hours, perhaps slightly more than that. as we have been watching these live pictures over the last two hours, we have seen the fla mes the last two hours, we have seen the flames and slowly built up in now and the last half hour or so, it does appear that they are subsiding toa does appear that they are subsiding to a certain extent or a certain no longer concentrated on the roof. we have had eyewitnesses describe what they saw in the moments after the first smoke started to appear in the skyline this evening. the fire, very definitely taking hold on the roof, then moving closer and closer to the cathedral possum expired, which then if my memory serves me right from what people have been telling us come an hour into the fire, that spire then itself caught fire and fell into the room. —— cathedral pass expired. we fare this confirmed outcome of the spire itself collapsed into the cathedral. there
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hasn't been no reports of any injuries, to the contrary, the french interior ministry has told us that there are no injuries at this stage, that they know about, the cathedral we believe would have been opened just about still open at the time the fire took hold in eyewitnesses have been telling us the police got people away from the building to very quickly indeed, and so the fight over the last three hours has been notjust bringing those flames under control and i look like they haven't got the equipment to do that, katty, look at the heat inside there. but the fight also, katty, i'm trying to salvage some of the artworks and priceless artifacts that were inside the cathedral. yes. you saw it there at the bottom of the picture. one water jet we have seen for the last 20 minutes or so. i am sure there are
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other angles we know the firefighters are all doing all they can, president macron on his way there cancelling his bleak political address. they will get this under control but it looks like they are under resource. —— his big political address. it looks like they are and are equipped to deal with this fire of this magnitude and a lot of wooden beams inside this cathedral and they will have been attracting the fire as well. we can speak now to author ken follett, who is the author of the pillars of the earth, spent many years, studying the construction of these cathedral. looking at these photographs now, these images coming into paris, what is through your mind? it is an uncanny resemblance to a scene in the pillars of the earth and wish jack sets fire to the old cathedral. the only part that will actually burnis the only part that will actually burn is the rafters and the roof.
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they are made of wood and very old and very dry and hundreds of times of timber in that room. and when it burns, the roof above falls and i'm trying to remember whether there are tiles of slates or a stone roof. whatever it is, the roof is very heavy. it falls when the rafters burns. then the debris will crash onto the top of the curve vault you see. you see the curve which is made of stone. very thin stone. and the wonderful curving shapes. and across the following roof will destroy that feeling. so hundreds of piles of debris will then fall and it will destroy the pillars holding it. that is how it works. the stone doesn't burn but itjust gets destroyed by
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what is falling. and it looks... i am hoping the two square towers at the west end might chest conceivably survived this but it looks like nothing else will. —— it mightjust survive this. i remember from your books, you had scenes of fires and cathedrals, and this kind of this devastation the two churches and i think many people will be watching this and thinking how does that happen so fast. i think, in the middle ages, cathedrals often burned. but it was usually because the poor monks doing the services we re the poor monks doing the services were so the poor monks doing the services were so darn cold, they would quite often be tempted to light a fire. and that was often the beginning of a fire in a cathedral in the middle ages. here, everybody looking at these pictures is saying how intense
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these pictures is saying how intense the fire is, how read flames are. and i think there is a mystery about it, it doesn't look like it was started by something trivial. —— how read the flames are everything seems to look gone up in a wish and i agree that, i'm not sure my explanation of hundreds of tonnes of dry wood is sufficient. i wonder if something does happen that we do not know about yet. that's something else happen. thank you, ken for joining us. many people have read your construction of it and read your construction of it and read your scenes of fire and cathedral. now so sadly we are watching this play out in real life in paris. thank you forjoining me. just awful scenes, katty. anybody watching this will be able to comprehend. the continued description from people like you can about the possibility that nothing may be left of this cathedral when this fire is finally out apart from perhaps the iconic
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towers at the front of it. we are joined now by one of the most senior french politicians, and a former energy minister, former socialist party candidate. i suppose the first thing to express is our sympathy to you and to ask how you are feeling and how francis feeling. yes. it is unfortunate and a tragedy. that's how france is. france as a whole who will cry. centuries of french and world history going up in smoke. what do you feel as you look at the images of the fire? i am so sad to see this event. i want to share my sadness with all of the french people. there are some criticisms i understand early about the response.
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it feels too early to have that criticism. are you in any position to talk about how prepared or otherwise different firefighters or authorities may have been for something that i like this? no. it is too early. we do not know anything just now. is too early. we do not know anythingjust now. it is too early. we do not know anything just now. it will be a loss on no christians around the world, royal, yesterday was palm sunday. next weekend is easter sunday, the holy week in the christian church. and as president macron has pointed out, catholics in paris, christians, will be watching their beloved notre dame burn and this is a very holy spiritual week. it is said for not only catholic and christian, but all french people around the world. it is the most important church in
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europe, the most visited. in the history, and i think everybody is very sad. and the whole region. miss royal, we heard earlierfrom ken follett, who studied the construction of the buildings, that what can happen in a fire like this is that the roof collapses into the building. do you think that is why this is a blaze spread so quickly and so ferociously? it is a good explanation. thank you very much for joining us the programme. john, you have been watching this and listening to our guests. it is just,
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as the sunsets in paris, on the city of light, and we watch notre dame this appearing before our eyes. i think many people will be watching this thinking and wishing they could reach out and rescue this building. and the outpouring of emotion i have been electing at twitter and what people have been saying, this sense of profound sadness and shock. —— been looking at twitter. in this sense of agility, this edifice, 200 years it took to build, has been standing for a hit in the 50 years. and in the space of an hour and a half, it looks like large parts of it are gone. —— standing for over 850 years. the spire has collapsed. there is a raging fire celebrating. not as intently when we first came on. we don't know what is happening inside. and we don't know what is happening inside of and we know the stained glass is melted. there has
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been epic levels of destruction, on this architectural duel of the world. and what the parisienne authorities in the church decided to do next, that is for the days in weeks to come. what we are looking at isa weeks to come. what we are looking at is a sense of loss. and a sense of how fragile it is. who would've ever when you stood on the city and looked at the cathedral come in all of his majesty with the flying purchases, and the ugly gargoyles and all the rest of it, you just marveled. and to think that it's gone like that, it is somehow hard to comprehend. —— flying buttresses. i know we live in a 24 hour news culture, processing this is really difficult. listening to you there and to what katty said, we have literally over the last hour this programme been watching notre dame burn and collapse, not collapse, but
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the spire came down and the roof collapsed. the firefighters battling and it looks like all the odds. let's go to france then. let's talk toa let's go to france then. let's talk to a french senator, natalie goulet. is there any way in which you can sum up the feeling for french people this evening? sadness and probably we are all speechless. everybody is in front of the tv. and we are watching. when you see some monument collapsing abroad, you always see it ina foreign collapsing abroad, you always see it in a foreign country, and you saw a lot of of that during in the work from dyess, and we had some masterpieces. —— from dyess. and you never masterpieces. —— from dyess. and you never think that i something like that can happen in your own country.
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you think of duty, a lasting forever, now it is over. which is shocking. it looks like this building in the majesty that it had become a just a matter of hours ago, looks like this building has a been certainly damaged for many years if there is to ever be any reconstruction. it will take a long time. it will take a long time. and thenit time. it will take a long time. and then it will also take a long time for people to realise what happened. it isa for people to realise what happened. it is a shock. it is a messy shock. what we see, also kind of around this unfortunate accident, even the president macron, he cancelled his speech for tonight because of this. it is really heartbreaking and it is
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a hub of paris, and a hub of france and also a mass of people around the world. terribly sad. it is. terribly sad. our sympathy see you in all the french people this evening. we are watching tonight, notre dame cathedral in paris burning and front of our eyes. this cathedral that was a bill in the 12th and 13th century, the city for 850 years, a monument in the middle of paris, visited by millions of people from around the world, every single year. the heart of the city of light, and flames tonight and we are hearing that not much left of it could be standing when parisians wake up tomorrow morning. and there we have the french president, arriving to see the most famous of french a monument being destroyed before our eyes. we are thinking tonight paris, and of
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the cathedral. you are watching a bbc news special. the headlines. a catastrophic fire engulfs notre—dame in parly, toppling its spire and threaten the entire wooden frame of the building. plumes of smoke are pouring from the landmark steeples. there are no reports yet of any casualty, the cause of the blaze is not known but officials say it could be linked to renovation work. these are the live pictures of the fire at the 850—year—old gothic building which firefighters are still struggling to get under control.

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